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Exclusive: The impact of hybrid cloud on Australia’s DC market

Recently IT Brief had the opportunity to talk to Digital Realty APAC senior director of marketing & strategy Omer Wilson and Digital Realty Australia director of data centre operations Rod Glover.

Can you start off by telling me a bit more about the Australian data centre market?

OW: It’s taken just over 10 years for the data centre market to reach its current level of maturity in Australia – thanks to the arrival of cloud computing, Big Data, and IoT. As a result, the data centre market is on a strong growth trajectory in Australia and tends to be highly centralised in key core metros. 

For us, we observe Sydney and Melbourne as the main data centre hubs for our growth, however, there is also increasing interest in other locations, such as Canberra and Perth. I would also add that we are not the only ones seeing this demand. Research suggests Australia’s top data centre markets, Sydney and Melbourne, are expected to experience intense growth and expansion in the next few years, pushing revenues to $955.5bn by 2021.

RG: Specifically, Digital Realty has two data centre facilities in Melbourne and two in Sydney – with expansion in progress. Specifically, in Sydney, we are excited to soon open our newest facility, Digital Erskine Park II later this year. Our focus remains on delivering scale, and hyperscale capabilities to our global and regional clients across Sydney and Melbourne, and beyond.

What makes Australia such an attractive market for data centre providers, including Digital Realty?

OW: The potential for growth and innovation. Digital Realty has enjoyed strong growth in Australia, and that’s thanks to the demand of global organisations to land and expand in APAC, with Australia being a key part of this growth strategy. 

We’ve found many of our global clients are seeking to develop a footprint in Australia and have been able to provide dedicated expertise in the region to support their growth plans. In addition, Australia as a market is open to innovation, providing us with a perfect opportunity to challenge the status quo and explore technologies previously underutilised elsewhere in our global portfolio. 

As an example, Sydney is currently exploring how to reduce our battery footprint and has been able to roll out the use of Lithium-Ion batteries in one of our Sydney sites. This is a global first for us and something that we hope to deliver elsewhere across our network. 

Can you explain some of the biggest changes in technology that are impacting the market? 

OW: There are two technologies having a significant impact right now – hyperscale and the utilisation of the hybrid cloud. Hyperscale has been built to support the explosion of cloud and the desire for scalability, as a result, we’re seeing demand for high density, high power campuses increase.  

Australia is proving to be a location of increasing activity for the hyperscale data centres, and you can see a number of the Global Technology giants growing their footprint in the country.

In addition, hybrid cloud is also driving the market. With many organisations leveraging a combination of technologies – both on-premise and in the cloud – to host their data, we’ve seen a rise in demand for secure, dedicated connections to the cloud providers. 

Over recent months, we’ve announced partnerships with the likes of Megaport and IBM to deliver dedicated, private access to the cloud to help businesses build the protected, hybrid cloud environment they need to innovate at scale.

What's the key to bringing scale and connectivity to customers?

RG: It all comes down to timing. On the one hand, organisations such as ourselves need to be able to forecast demand and growth opportunities, to ensure they can physically meet a demand for scale. At the same time, delivering scale requires constant communications with customers to understand activity and match this with the correct design architecture and power requirements.

Design plays a substantial role. We’ve recently launched our state of the art, trademarked 4.0 architecture POD (performance optimised datacentre) design. 

It’s been developed from the knowledge gleaned through the construction of more than $2.5 billion worth of data centres globally and uses a modular methodology to build out raised floor data centre space using standard power and cooling building blocks for cost-effective, design flexibility and every efficiency. 

Our 4.0 POD architecture delivers high volume, high-density data centre capabilities to customers supporting their overall call for scale and connectivity. This is especially relevant for the Cloud providers entering the Australian market, who are looking for large Data footprints, quickly and in a cost-effective manner.

Can you tell me more about the partnership between Megaport and Digital Realty?

OW: Digital Realty has a strategic, global relationship with Megaport which puts global interconnectivity at the core of our hosted platform, Service Exchange. 

Service Exchange is powered by Megaport and enables users to establish direct, private connections to multiple cloud service providers, including AWS, Microsoft, and Google as well as access network on-demand. By utilising Megaport’s API, our customers are able to access seamless, amplified service offerings all in one consolidated platform.

This partnership is critical to our success within the cloud market, providing advanced scalability and connectivity to customers across the globe. Together the Digital Realty and Megaport footprint will be made available in 132 locations, spanning across more than 36 markets, on 4 different continents.